29.Jan.2015 - 16:00-18:00
  • Talk

Aesthetics of Crisis

Brian Holmes

TRADE TEST SITE presents a lecture by the cultural critic Brian Holmes as part of Aarhus University's Aesthetics Seminar series and the Mediality, Materiality, Aesthetic Meaning research programme.

Holmes will give a lecture that builds on his essay “Crisis Theory for Complex Societies”, in Disrupting Business: Art and Activism in Times of Financial Crisis (edited by Geoff Cox & Tatiana Bazzichelli, and published by Autonomedia, 2013).

The lecture deals with the subjective experience of crisis and serves as an introduction to a two-day workshop on the transformations of the contemporary world economic system.

Brian Holmes writes: “Major shifts in the patterns of capital accumulation come once every forty years or so. But they cast long shadows, on aesthetics as well as technology. Since 1968 we’ve lived with just about the same imaginary of revolution. And since the neoliberal compromise of the 1980s, we’ve lived with the proliferating simulacra of that same revolutionary imaginary. How will our societies confront the new set of political and ecological challenges brought on by the tremendous acceleration of the globalized economy? What will the future be made of? For decades those questions were taboo. But when the financial sector suddenly froze in 2008, they began to take on an intense existential reality. The aesthetics of crisis names a vast, fractured, interlinked process of collective invention. It is the response of human beings to the restructuring of capital.”

TRADE TEST SITE is a mobile cultural platform for the exploration of the intersection of economics and aesthetics. Initiated by Lise Skou (DK) with support from Bonnie Fortune (DK/US). www.tradetestsite.com

Brian Holmes is a cultural critic, social activist and autonomous researcher, currently living in Chicago. Since the late Nineties he has been analyzing the contradictions of neoliberal globalization, while continuously engaging with artistic projects. His essays are freely available at http://brianholmes.wordpress.com. Also see http://southwestcorridornorthwestpassage.org.